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Trump Supporter Peter Lumaj Is A Threat To Win Republican Primary For Governor

February 21st, 2018 · 33 Comments · Analysis and Comment, News and Events, State Politics

He was born and raised in communist Albania, made a daring escape for freedom, learned English in the United States and eventually earned a law degree, although he does not practice law in Connecticut. Peter Lumaj is a Republican candidate for governor, an unapologetic supporter of Donald Trump at a time most GOP candidates for governor duck that embrace for fear of antagonizing anti-Trump electors. But in a large Republican primary field it appears Lumaj’s conservative credentials could very well make him a threat, under the right circumstances, to be the GOP standard bearer in the general election, a disquieting notion for moderate Republican operatives seeking to reclaim the governor’s office and a potential delight to Democrats hoping to cling to the seat in this schizophrenic gubernatorial cycle.

Lumaj

Peter Lumaj

Three months from a Republican convention, with no clear-cut front runner for the nomination, most GOP operatives maintain that Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Lumaj, piling up the most conservative support, are positioned for the most delegate action. It’s unclear if anyone, however, will crack the 50 percent required for the endorsement. That does not mean others will not reach the 15 percent delegate threshold, or petition onto the ballot, to land an August primary spot. Bridgeport resident David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, in an exploratory stage, are among other high-profile candidates who could appear on the primary ballot.

Now let’s say when it all shakes out the GOP August primary fields five or six candidates. The GOP moderate vote under that scenario will be carved up among several candidates. The most conservative GOP electors tend to gravitate to primaries, especially if inspired by one of their own. That’s where Lumaj comes in. Judging by his conservative bent, delegate support and endorsements from some of the most conservative pols in Connecticut, Lumaj now becomes a relevant factor in a primary whose winner could prevail with 25 to 30 percent of the vote in a crowded field.

The possibility of Lumaj emerging from a packed primary frays the nerve endings of some GOP leaders who fear he’s not well positioned to reach unaffiliated general election voters who decide statewide races. He’s far too Trumpish, they say, in demeanor and messaging, something Democratic pols will pounce on. Trump lost Connecticut by 13 points to Hillary Clinton and judging by recent polling his standing isn’t any better.

Lumaj’s supporters, however, say his message powerwashing the Hartford bureaucracy and eliminating the personal income tax among earners of less than $100,000 has broader appeal. Republicans also assert Democratic incumbent Dan Malloy who’s not seeking reelection is less popular in the state than Trump. Either way, Trump and Malloy are not on the ballot.

Key for Lumaj is qualifying for Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded raises that allows for roughly $1.4 million in a primary coupled with $250,000 raised in small donor qualifying contributions. Top-tier GOP candidates for governor appear well on their way toward qualifying for a grant.

Lumaj campaign manager Brock Weber says they will get there likely at the completion of the next financial reporting period ending March. Public grants, upon approval, are parceled out by the State Elections Enforcement Commission shortly after the respective party conventions in May.

“We’re in a good position,” says Weber. “Pete has a strong base of conservative support and name recognition among the delegates. Primary voters are conservative and we think the conservative wing has consolidated around Pete’s candidacy. We have a viable path for governor.”

Lumaj was the GOP candidate for Connecticut Secretary of the State in 2014. After a competitive race in which he lost to incumbent Democrat Denise Merrill he continued to build relationships with core conservative support that serves as his base in the gubernatorial campaign.

As the Lumaj threat sinks in with other GOP candidates the rhetoric may kick up challenging his credentials to win a general election given his unabashed support of Trump. One potential area of ammunition for opponents is his geographic disconnection to the state. He lives in Fairfield, has a law practice in The Bronx, New York, but is not licensed to practice law in Connecticut. So much for his local business credentials that he lauds on the campaign trail. But will conservative primary voters care about that?

So Lumaj is definitely in play in this primary process.

As for the Democratic guber race, that’s just as screwy with no clear-cut frontrunner. The governor’s race on both sides will be wide open for quite some time.

And riding on this election cycle is also control of the state legislature.

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33 Comments so far ↓

  • Ron Mackey

    Let’s go Peter Lumaj.

    • flubadub

      It wasn’t too long ago we had the same feelings about the current occupant in the White House. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Ron, sometimes You’re such a trouble maker….. you made me laugh this morning with this post, thanks! Hope all is good with you and yours.

    • John Marshall Lee

      You are a steady scout, looking and listening for those who would infiltrate the community with ideas inimical to American values as you have learned them, and sometimes teach them. But I did not see you last night in West Haven waving a Lumaj sign, and do not believe that you will be hosting him in Bridgeport. What type of tripwire have you set up? Private joke with JB, no doubt. Time will tell.

  • Marshall Marcus

    Connecticut voters rejected Trump in 2016 before he had done such a terrible job in Washington. Lumaj may be able to hijack the state Republican party in the Trump manner, but he won’t win the general election with the negative stigma of being a Trump supporter.

    • Ethan Book

      Marshall Marcus, the statistics show that President Trump is doing a good job!

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        You must be sniffing glue. Trump’s approval ratings stalled at 38%. 68% of the American people believe the popular vote should have prevailed, not the electoral college.

        Donald Trump is the singularly WORST POTUS in the history of the nation. Oh, he can count on the 38%, the dumb asses in Cow Skull, Wyoming; Horse Apple, Kentucky; Frost Bite Falls, Ohio; East New album Fuck, Maine; and Schittz Creek, Alabama. The rest of us know he’s a fraud.

  • Ethan Book

    I met Peter Lumaj in 2010 when he was a candidate for Attorney General and I was a candidate for U.S. Senate (a minor candidate but a candidate; that was when Linda McMahon got the GOP endorsement). He’s a good man!

  • Donald Day

    Oh Ethan this statistics that you speak of are really alternative facts that you probably got from Fox News.

    A poll found that 56 percent of voters surveyed do not believe Trump is “fit to serve as president,” compared to 42 percent who do think he’s fit to serve. And 57 percent disapprove of the job he is doing as president, while only 36 percent of respondents approve.

    • Ron Mackey

      Don, all Ethan Book is doing on OIB is trying to make a name for his self inside of the Republican Party and nothing else. Peter Lumaj just like Ethan can make a name for their self by publicly embracing 45, the fact that Ethan said, “the statistics show that President Trump is doing a good job” that shows that Ethan supports 45′s comments about Charlottesville, VA, supporting Judge Roy Moore, supporting Vladimir Putin, grabbing women by the genital, believing in voter suppression against blacks and believing that there’s no problem with Russia attacking America’s voting system. Don, that’s what Ethan Book truth is all about.

      • Ron Mackey

        By Dan Merica, CNN

        While Trump and even some Democrats have criticized the Obama administration for not speaking up enough on Russia’s actions before the election, Obama did take some steps to reprimand the country.

        Obama confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in China in 2016, something Trump has yet to forcefully do in meetings with the Russian leader. Trump and Putin discussed election interference in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2017. Trump later said he thought the Russian leader was earnest when he denied any election meddling.
        During his last two years in office, Obama also imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities for election meddling, kicked out 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Kremlin compounds in the United States.

        Trump has yet to impose sanctions overwhelmingly passed by Congress last year and missed deadlines to identify which Russian individuals and entities would be on the sanctions list. Last month, the Trump administration decided against implementing the sanctions against Russia and instead published a list of already prominent Russian oligarchs.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Don,

      Ethan Book is drunk, intoxicated on the Kool Aid.

  • Ethan Book

    To all, under President Trump, the economy is up and unemployment is down! Also, there is now a majority who like the recent tax reduction bill! I sometimes jump into these conversations because I have a heart for public interest and there needs to be balance in the conversations !!

    • Ron Mackey

      But you deal with fake news. The tax cut will hurt Connecticut residents because they can’t deduct their home and state taxes. There needs to be the truth which is something 45 doesn’t understand, there needs to be moral leadership something 45 doesn’t understand. Of course 45 has received the benefit of President Obama turning the economy around was from the financial crisis that President George W Bush. Ethan, I know it’s hard for you just 45 to deal with the facts and the truth but the Russian investigation will bring out the truth about 45 and his family. Let’s go Peter Lumaj.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Oh sure, ride that pony until it dies by the side of the road. Why is Trump o reluctant to sign into law sanctions ain’t the Russian government and a select number of its citizens? In light of that his claims of “No collusion!” don’t sound convincing.

      Let’s not forget he cheated on his wife with a Playboy Playmate and a porn actress.

      Oh, and what about that tax break for the wealthiest 1%? “Trickle down economics” is not sound economic theory.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      The FBI and the national intelligence community uncovered substantial evidence the Russian government interfered with the 2916 presidential election; that Donald J. Trump jr. met with a Russian born attorney connected to the Kremlin; Trump’s first Nationl Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, was fired for lying to the Attorney Grneral and the FBI. Despite Trump’s claims of a “witch hunt” conducted by Democrats embittered by the electoral defeat, despite dismissing the news media as “fake” the Trump administration and cmpaign has been under investigation for violations of national security, election law and financial irregularities.

      Donald Trump can meet with high school students all he wants. Arming teachers is not the solution.

  • Ethan Book

    This evening I had the opportunity to attend the GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Debate at Notre Dame High School in West Haven. Peter Lamaj was one of eight candidates participating. I haven’t yet decided which candidate I will support. I’m concerned with comments here of those who would discount him because he’s a supporter of Donald Trump.

    He was born in Albania, then a communist country. Because his family opposed communism, they were essentially slaves. He escaped as a teenager and for nine months was a refuge in Yugoslavia. He then came to the U.S. He worked in NYC as a criminal investigator. He married and got a law degree.

    He knows socialism and saw it fail. He sees the dangerous trend toward socialism in the U.S. He seeks limited government!

    • Ron Mackey

      Do you think that somebody cares what you think.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      You are delusional, Ethan. D-E-L-U-S-I-O-N-A-L. Supporting Donald Trump’s “accomplishments” is nearly as toxic as an endorsement from the man himself. Luther Strange lost the Republican Senatorial primary in Alabama after Trump endorsed him. The victor Roy Moore was endorsed by Trump, and lost. It was revealed that Moore, as a young Assistant DA, was known to be a chicken hawk that cruised shopping malls in Gadsden, Alabama, in search of nubile teenage girls. Do not forget that Moore, a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court,  was removed twice for defying federal court rulings. this is the sort of individual that ought to be a U.S. Senator, according to Donald Trump.

      The reaction of at least 62% of the American public was somewhere along the lines of “Are you fucking kidding?!” Trump is the worst president in the history of the republic. More than a few voters will question the priorities of any candidate for public office that supports him. The stock market’s successes are the result of Barack Obama’s efforts, as is recent job creation. Trump is a scumbag for taking credit. 

      Stop spewing the party line, Ethan. It makes you sound like a moron.

      • Ethan Book

        TBK, to say that the recent improvements in unemployment figures and the economy are a result of what Obama did is wishful thinking. In addition, under President Trump, we have nearly eliminated ISIS. Also, Trump led the move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          As if Donald Trump knows about terrorist groups and military operations. Give me a break. You credit Trump with defeating ISIS? Get the fuck out of here. The Iraqi military accomplished that.

  • Donald Day

    Oh Ethan stop it, that’s just Stu plain and simple, garbage. The unemployment rate was high when Obama took office — 7.8 percent — and it continued to get worse in his first year. It peaked at 10 percent in October 2009 and didn’t drop below 9 percent until two years after that.

    But slowly, and more or less steadily, the rate improved. By the time Obama left office, the jobless rate had dropped 3 full percentage points, an improvement exceeded only by the slightly bigger declines during the Clinton and Kennedy-Johnson administrations. Wishful thinking?

    After-tax corporate profits also set records, as did stock prices. The S&P 500 index rose 166 percent.
    The number of people lacking health insurance dropped by 15 million. Wishful thinking? Ethan, may I suggest that you use an alternative news agency rather than Fox News for your information because you are getting alternative facts.

    • Ethan Book

      Donald Day, while the job Recovery under Obama might have been reduced by 3 percent, it was the slowest recovery of any recession. Also, while the stock market may have increased under Obama, it did not grow as rapidly as it has under Trump. Regarding Obamacare, what we were told before that was approved that we could keep our health care providers and that medical care costs would go down never occurred. In fact, there have been substantial increases in health care costs as well as increases in deductibles!

  • Donald Day

    C’mon Ethan, starting with Trump’s inauguration, the Dow has risen from 19,827.3 to 25,075.1 — an increase of 26 percent. That’s impressive.

    But it’s not as impressive as its performance during the equivalent period under Obama. Under Obama, the Dow increased from 7,949.1 to 10,572 — a rise of 33 percent.

    In fact, the Dow’s rise was even more impressive under Obama if you start measuring at the market’s low point, on March 9, 2009, during the depths of the Great Recession. That day, the Dow closed at 6,547. Between then and Jan. 5 — a 10-month period — the Dow rose by a stunning 61 percent. That’s more than three times faster than Trump’s rise over the same period in his term. Look man quit getting your talking points from Fox News because it’s alternative facts that bear little or no resemblance to the truth. It’s no wonder that the Republican party is all but dead in Bridgeport.

    • Ethan Book

      Donald Day, you respond to one of three points that I raised. What about the other two? And what about the significance of other earlier raised points such as of the near elimination of ISIS under Trump and of his role in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Isreal? Also, what about the fact that all this in response to some who wish to discount the candidacy of Peter Lumaj on the sole basis that he, as a candidate for state office, is a Trump supporter. On this, there’s a major disconnect with that position and the points which have been discussed here!

    • Ron Mackey

      Don, Ethan Book isn’t worth the time of day to respond, he’s just like Robert T, he just wants to hear his self talk and to try to make a name with local RTC who don’t give a dam about him. All he does is use 45′s talking points that he sees every night on FOX NEWS and Sean Hannity show.

  • Mojo

    *** Voting for another con-man that has anything in common with the likes of Trump, is like betting against the house while playing blackjack while their using a peknuckel deck of cards! ***

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